Over the last few years we've watched Joe Freshgoods' impact grow from a local trendsetter to a national force in fashion. Consistently innovating, he's garnered a sterling reputation that's continued to shine brighter with each day. Following up his wildly successful 'Thank You Obama' collection, Freshgoods' latest creative outlet is a pop-up shop unlike anything we've seen from him yet, the Beauty Supply. The store itself is a work of art, stocked with references to past work and focusing on his new releases that he's masterfully teased up until this point. The experience is 100% Joe. After a packed family & friends preview on Friday night, the pop up opened to the public on Saturday of this memorial weekend at 1216 W. Grand Ave (Congruent Space) in Chicago to wide acclaim. This pop-up serves as a temporary retail location for the whole Fat Tiger family as they work towards the opening of their new store.
Freshgoods created a wonderful balance of art and commerce with Beauty Supply. The store and installation is a visual feast - navigating a maze of plants, visitors end up in a white room with sparse, sterile walls, greeted by an interactive museum of Joe's work. You'll see a neon tribute to Freshgoods' iconic "Made In A Chicago Hood" slogan. A rack of clothing sits to the side, surrounded by freshly-clothed pots (the coverings made from spare "Towel Hoodie" remnants). The newly released Towel Hoodies™, which fans have been waiting for in anticipation, hang from the ceiling on brightly-matching pastel colored ropes. And what most quickly catches the eye, a vivid floor covered in green and pink sand, meant to accent two special colorways of the new hoodies.
As the name suggests, the store is an homage to the beauty shops that helped him refine his sense of style early on, and the importance they hold in many communities by allowing people to do more with less. It's also a statement on the current ubiquity of black Chicago fashion and the entrepreneurship surrounding it, contrasting now with the time Joe Freshgoods was first starting in the industry. A mission statement explaining this devotion adorns the wall shadowed by plants.
"Beauty Supply stores have always been a staple in the hood... With this Beauty Supply concept, I really wanted to capture a moment in time on the Westside of Chicago where I used my local resources to look good and make due with what I had."
One of the biggest takeaways from the Beauty Supply is that Joe is starting to play by a different set of rules. Much of his past work has flourished thanks to expert timing and cultural references. But Beauty Supply has taken the next step and removed Joe Freshgoods connection to the material world, allowing him to journey into the abstract and make something that can exist entirely on its own. It's an exploration of Joe's thought process.
Having always been able to put together clothing that grabs people's imaginations, Beauty Supply relinquishes Joe's artistry under a different lens. It's a project that stands alone, yet fits perfectly into his highly-publicized catalogue to date. We suggest you visit before the event closes up shop on June 1st.